Our second last day of summer evangelism wasn’t without challenges. Ricardo and I sought to speak with a young lady waiting for her bus. I told her who we were, where we were from and that we were out sharing the Gospel. She instantly felt awkward and started laughing. I encouraged her that these are important conversations to have. By God’s grace she was too nice to dismiss us. She engaged in a conversation that ended up recruiting a small measure of mockery (and some more laughing).
What follows is an abbreviated summary of what happened. Y refers to the lady; P refers to me; and M refers to another lady who joined in.
P: What do you think of Jesus?
Y: I don’t know. (And looking at me as though this was a silly question).
P: Well, what do you know of him? Surely you have thoughts of some kind.
Y: Well, I don’t really believe in God.
P: Why do you hold to atheism?
Y: I just grew up with it and I’ve always believed it.
P: Well, in light of the world we observe, do you think it’s a more reasonable position?
Y: I don’t know.
P: Do you believe in the big bang?
P: Well, why do you opt for order coming from chaos over the idea that God created everything with order?
Y: Well, I’m not saying it’s impossible. I just don’t believe.
P: Well, have you ever read the Bible?
Y: Not really. But the Bible is not reliable.
P: Why do you think that?
Y: It was written by men.
P: So you’re saying it’s corrupted because it was written by men and men make mistakes?
P: But think about this: you are a person. So how do you know you’re not making a mistake in your judgement of the Bible. You said men make mistakes. (She seemed to understand my argument and her body language indicated that she conceded).
P: And surely it wouldn’t be too hard for an all powerful God to keep his Word pure, even through men. (She agreed on this theoretically).
P: The Bible is trustworthy and it clearly teaches that God created the world out of nothing, that he created everything good and that we are the ones who’ve messed up the world. We’ve sinned by disobeying God’s commands. And now we’re not good. And that’s why we feel guilt. You ever feel guilt?
Y: Yes (smiling with the look of, “Why are you talking about this?”).
P: Me too. You know, the reason we feel guilt is because we have it. It’s that simple. It’s real, but that’s the very reason why God sent Jesus into the world. You know about the Cross? How Jesus died on the Cross and rose from the dead? The reason he came to do that was to save us.
Y: Wow. This is intense. (smiling)
M: (Shouting from about 12 feet away, and with all manner of mockery), “What Jesus are you talking about?”
P: (I looked over at her and was silent for a few seconds, and with firmness I said back to her) The Jesus of Scripture that even non-Christians and liberal Bible scholars don’t deny existed.
(Though M was silenced, Y and M were now both laughing with each other at me).
P: (speaking to Y) Look, the reason we’re out talking to people is because these things matter and we care for you. Thank you for taking the time to let us speak to you. Take care.
At that moment Y walked over to M and the two became friends. We could overhear them laughing together and M saying how she needed to “save” Y from me.
By the grace of God, Ricardo and I prayed for them. And by the grace of God we truly considered ourselves blessed. But I really felt opposed spiritually. I felt little and despised by people. I was laughed at. I felt, in the smallest measure, something of what my Saviour felt. And it was good.